Cruise Line Brands

A basic knowledge of the cruise brands operating in Canada will help ensure that Indigenous tourism operators are aligning their experiences with the needs of the cruise lines and their customers.

As the cruise industry has grown, it has targeted a broader range of potential passengers. Companies seek to differentiate themselves so that existing and new customers will pick their ships, onboard amenities and destinations over another cruise lines’ similar offerings. The cruise line market is commonly segmented based on level of service and activities offered onboard. The cruise industry is segmented into four main groups:

Each cruise line has its own customer profile and shipboard personality. Mass-market, lower-priced cruises generally operate large or mega ships and concentrate on mass destinations, as well as feature round-trip itineraries and three to seven day cruises. Premium cruise lines have a more upscale and formal atmosphere that tend to use midsize to larger ships with a mix of round-trip and one-way itineraries of seven-day and longer cruises. The very upscale luxury cruise brands generally operate small to medium size ships on longer itineraries.



This segment includes cruises in medium-size to very large and/or modern ships with daily rates of less than $300. This cruise product appeals to passengers of all ages and income categories, and most often to first-time cruisers. A review of the Canadian cruise market place indicates that there are about seven major contemporary cruise line brands active on an ongoing basis. The vessels deployed by these cruise lines tend to be significantly larger than the vessels deployed by other types of cruise brands. Thus, suggesting that they account for the majority of cruise passengers served in Canada.

View Contemporary cruise lines in our directory.



This segment includes daily rates from $200 to $400. It attracts older, more affluent and experienced cruisers. Typically this segment features large, frequently newer ships. A review of the Canadian cruise market place indicates that there are about 6 major premium cruise brands active on an ongoing basis. These lines in Canada tend to use a ship size that is slightly smaller than the contemporary brands and account for the second largest source of cruise passengers.

View Premium cruise lines in our directory.



This segment usually includes medium-sized to smaller ships, and daily rates of $300 to $600, as well as longer or world-wide cruises. A review of the Canadian cruise market indicates that there about 5 major luxury cruise brands active in the market place. These cruise brands account for the third largest source of cruise passengers in Canada.

View Luxury cruise lines in our directory.


Exploration / Soft Adventure

This segment is generally found on smaller ships with varying daily rates and fewer frills, but an emphasis on learning and education. Vessel size is generally very small and with few onboard amenities. However, there are some cruise lines with ships of 450 passengers that fit into this category. A review of the Canadian cruise market revealed at least 19 cruise line brands active in this category. The majority operates in the Great Lakes or Arctic regions. Due to the relatively small vessels the total passenger volume represent the smallest source of cruise passenger traffic overall.

View Exploration / Soft Adventure cruise lines in our directory.

Overview of the Cruise Ship Industry in Canada.